I love to spend time in the garden growing food for my family, but my time is also valuable. I don’t want to spend all day tending my garden! With a little bit of planning and these 7 tips for a low maintenance garden, you will be surprised how much you can grow with very little effort!
7 Tips for a Low Maintenance Garden
Every garden starts with a good design. You need to have a thought out plan about what you want to grow, where in your yard gets the best light, etc. Start with these 7 Questions to ask before you plant your garden. They will give you a great head start on your design!
If you are unsure about gardening or just not sure you have the time to devote, start small. A small container herb garden is an excellent way to get your start in gardening without feeling overwhelmed. Get a large pot and plant a mix of basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley, and green onions. Your herb garden will be overflowing with tasty culinary leaves in no time.
Choose Plants Wisely
Choosing plants wisely is so important for your garden. You need to know your zone and know what you can grow in your area at specific periods of the year. Just because you love apples doesn’t mean you should buy an apple tree if you live in Florida. Choose plants that match your zone, match the season you are in, and preferably easy to grow. These are the best types of plants for a low maintenance garden
If you are opting to put your garden in a raised bed, or straight into the ground, I highly recommend purchasing weed barrier paper to help keep the weeds at bay. Weed barrier paper is often sold in large black rolls at your local garden center. Before you plant you roll this paper over the soil. Then cut holes for your plants or seedlings to go down in. Once you have planted, it is best to cover it with mulch. This paper is the best at keeping weeds out of your garden which is going to cut back on your maintenance time!
Since we are talking low maintenance gardening, you want to water smart! Every garden needs water. Depending on the size of your garden consider installing an irrigation system. If you don’t want to get that involved, you can set up a sprinkler on a timer to run every evening at the same time. In the evening and at dusk is the best time to water because the water has time to absorb without being evaporated by the sun.
Adding mulch is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save time, money and work in your garden. Whether you are planting in the ground or in a pot, you’ll spend less time weeding, watering and fertilizing. Mulching also improves your soil, prevents erosion and makes harvesting edibles much easier.
Just like people, some plants get along better with others. These companion plants make gardening simpler because they help each other grow to be the best plants they can be. Some plants, especially herbs, act as repellents, confusing insects with their strong odors that mask the scent of the intended host plants. Other plants put certain nutrients back in the soil that the other plant needs. You can learn more about companion planting and the best pairs to plant together from Farmer’s Almanac.
These tips should get you going in the right direction to plant a fruitful and low maintenance garden this year.